Alien: Covenant

img_20170323_0950491The crew of the Covenant are on a terraforming expedition when a freak solar flare awakens them 7 years too soon. Whilst repairing the ship they encounter a rogue transmission that lures them to another planet that seems even more perfect than their original destination, but when they arrive they find David (Michael Fassbender), the only survivor of the Prometheus mission and perils they could not imagine.

For Ridley Scott’s second Alien prequel following Prometheus, it is clear that complaints about that film have been listened to. The horror quotient has risen dramatically whilst still retaining a heavy science fiction slant in relation to the musings of creation and how we came to be. Covenant is clearly trying to be the middle ground between Prometheus and Alien. Interestingly there are also some direct attempts to resolve complaints about Prometheus, most of which I will not go into for fear of spoilers. A key one I can talk about, as it is the opening scene of the film is that we see Guy Pearce again as the young Dr Weyland. This is how it was always intended to see him, but some scenes were left unfilmed and a TED talk from Weyland was only ever as additional scene rather than part of the movie. But Scott has still perplexingly left out a scene that was openly released featuring the whole crew bonding before they set off on their mission, in fact I am using it as the feature image for this review. Look closely and you will see an actor who suffers the same fate as Guy Pearce in Prometheus.

As a fan of Prometheus I hope that these olive branches are enough to bring those disgruntled by the unexplained back into the fold, because this is a fantastic film. As with all Scott films it is incredible to look at and it features many Alien tropes that most people now know and love. An expendable crew, a bumpy journey to the surface, aliens bursting from people and robots which may or may not be trustworthy. In fact this time we have two performances from Michael Fassbender to revel in as he plays both David and Walter, the Covenants assigned robot. This time we also have a much more fleshed out crew with three key protagonists; Katherine Waterston plays Daniels, the strong female lead all Alien films need, Billy Crudup plays Oram, a man of faith who finds himself in charge of the Covenant and Danny McBride is Tennessee, the cowboy hat wearing pilot.

Overall I felt the film does an excellent job, it is at times gruesome and scary and in others deep and meaningful. Lets hope that Scott gets to complete his Alien prequels and complete the story.


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